As we have listened to industrial grade BS over some of the last 6 -7 years, it would be good to move just a wee bit past it by understanding our democracy/republic. The very ones who are targets of the wrath of a sore loser are part of a body that, although needing adjustment only we can bring, are the very ones who do keep us free. Do we really want one supreme leader left unchallenged by our voices? Kings will have their say and only their say. Dictators, a paranoid bunch, will have our guns for they are always looking over their shoulders. Do we really want government to decide who wins elections, who has rights and who does not?

Putting in place people who will nod their heads in agreement is the first step to taking total control. The condemned are the ones who will stand up for this democracy and have and that is why they are terrorized. Authoritarians need total compliance, are we really willing to agree with that? Are we really going to agree that a VP should be hanged for following verbatim our Constitution? Will we threaten to hang those who pull us out of the ditch we find ourselves in?

Sure we have issues with our government, but it is the fault of all of us, not one person or another. Who among the citizens bothers to volunteer, help a neighbor, sell tickets for a good cause? Those are the ones who will carry this country forward. Being a part of that is incredibly rewarding.

It is high time people take stock of what they want this country to be. The time is upon us to listen to what is really being said and not what we are told is important. It is not our job to enrich the ones who seek to take this country down. It is time to understand what we have to lose. People flee to America because we do have a fair system of election unlike what they are leaving behind, which is absolute rule. Think about it, the only way up is to understand the down.

Embryo of Life

My friend gave me a book with the most incredible collection of photos taken through the lenses of the Hubble Telescope over the thirty years it has been orbiting Earth. Color enhanced images of gases, hard matter and debris from light years away cover the pages. One photo in particular reminds me of an embryo in fetal position in the womb of space floating weightless enveloped space dust and gases.

I have pondered that photo and came to the conclusion we are all of that place in the heavens. Whether your belief ties with science and the big bang theory, native lore of our creation or Biblical passages, all civilizations look to the expanding universe to try and decipher their own existence. We all find magic in the stars most visible to us, but there are other stars millions of light years away, that I am sure are still fostering life and changing hourly.

James Michener wrote in his non-fiction book Hawaii of the first bird to drop a seed on the islands and how the rich volcanic soils and coastal rains nourished it to life where it clung alone, until another bird dropped another seed, or the ocean sloshed a few onto the shores. Then many more found their way, and soon there were trees and plants to foster the existence of the habitat necessary for the birds to thrive. Beneath it all though, were nutrients deposited in the formation of our universe and galaxy that were mixed in molecular marriage deep in our Earth. These compounds uniquely placed, were the very embryos of life.

We are complicated in our makeup; nitrogen, hydrogen, proteins, the list goes on. All bestowed on us from perhaps millions upon millions of light years away. Was it by “God” and the Creation where every move is somehow orchestrated, or happenstance as the explosions occurred? Each of our faiths tell the story as does the Earth itself.  I see the universe on my paths as I walk, beautiful arrays of color represented in small stones all made up of different elements that give life to the Earth. Many were at one time twisted walls of basement rock from the very beginnings of our galaxy. The rock surfaced in places, fractured, eroded, layered over by other soils and some standing stoically as pillars, survivors of a time we have no written record of, just summation using the rocks themselves and complicated mathematical computations to determine time.

Either way, life is something to marvel. You see it in the birds’ deft flight; a flock of black birds who in a ballet in the wind, wake your senses. Turning and diving, rising and falling as if choreographed. As a group they careen, sometimes hundreds of them, in the wind. They seem to stich heaven and Earth into a fabric of endless life. They are called to do their part in the ebb and flow of Earths’ cycles. The sandhill cranes, geese, turkey vultures come and go with the seasons just as the snows in winter and the flowers in the spring. Incredible.

The natives followed their fellow living beings, calculating correctly they were all in this together, a cycle of life, living and death. The elk, deer, birds, lizards were all a piece of the land blessed by the heavens and a part of life’s cycle. Too, the indigenous came to know the universe and the power it had to move the oceans, bring fertility and exert pressures on the Earth we may be too unaware of to understand now.

We are a microcosm of life, or not in space. Humans are tied, just like the birds or rabbits to the energy space generates in it’s shifting, colliding and explosive behaviors. As for Earth in the universe, it is but one piece of dust floating on all our worlds’ oceans. Energy that comes from the vastness of space ripples across our planet and we either catch it or we don’t.

Many prophets that are scribed in the Bible, on monuments and tablets talk of positive energy or faith for good over evil just as it was suggested by Christ for Simon and Andrew to hold faith against demons. Have we failed to understand those teachings? Energy is racing across the universe, we’ve only to catch it. Faith is a confidence that with work, together we can achieve anything. We were born unto the universe that surrounds us we have to understand how to harness it as one.

Man has endeavored to solve life’s meanings from the most basic of concepts to the complicated formulas of the laboratory. I find it interesting that all faiths look to the universe always for the answers yet often shun what it has to say. Different faiths from Christian to Indigenous surround themselves with a “beginning” set forth in the universe knowing their answers lie in the stars. Indeed, the answers to the puzzle of all life are held in “space”. Once we understand that the universe is the embryo of life, we might come to terms with the forces that divide us. We are but a spec, we have to know that.

Under Siege

I did not sleep until about 3:00 a.m. Tossing and turning
pinned in last nights time. War erupted, and not just any war, but
the very form of government that stands for freedom
and homegrown ideas are in the path.

People mention freedom here, in fact shout it out as if we are
locked up, our voices stimmed. I freely sit here writing for
for anyone who wants to read it; my fingers are not removed.
My mind is free to design what my next day will be; not so in

I watched in real time last night the beginnings of the real
destruction of freedom. The taking of an independent state
by a large army, directed by one man rich beyond belief,
but empty of heart. A man who is indeed not anything he says
he is; he has fooled many to believe he is strong.

Yes, he has computer savvy players whom he unleashes
creating failure in the cyber world. He possesses ingenuity
throwing misinformation out there to his poor subjects, but
you see, a liar can only tell a lie so long before someone
points him out. The liar trips over his own lies, falling flat.

Democracy is being overrun in the Ukraine. The act is not
only despicable, but shows Putins’ weaknesses. He has proved
he is alone, no one has come to his aid. Naked in the underbelly
of life, stooping low in the fog of Moscow. A troll of the underground
rolled up in a cocoon of hate for the huge success Ukraine has

The Russian people are moved and are gathering by the
thousands in the streets defying a man and his punishment
of their brothers and perhaps risking their own lives to stand
arm in arm for democracy they can’t have themselves.

For all our faults the world looked to us to give them direction.
This President worked side by side across the table from
leaders of every country in the free world to punish dictatorship
and support democracy. That is who we are. We work together
in communities across the country to solve problems we don’t
always see eye to eye on, but life is a give and take from marriage
to playground games.

I will sleep more tonight as I see the pushback from the entire world.
I see dog tired humans trying to find the right approach well
into the night. None of this will be easy and may take a long time.
Maybe it will be for naught, but we can no more sit idly by while
watching Brazil, Turkey, and others waking to dictatorship
after a nights sleep in democracy.

Divided We Fall

I read the other day of Joan Didion’s passing from our literary world and today caught a descriptive piece about her writing by New York Times former book critic, Machiko Kakutani. Didion died Thursday, December 23, 2021 at the age of 87, but may well live into history as one of the greatest American essayists, playwrights and novelists. By Kakutani’s description, she was a person who could look at a situation and easily separate fact from fiction, both in the sense of understanding the liar and looking at the situation and the times.

She had a lot to teach us if we read her works and others like her as we move into a new year. The woman was tuned into the social psyche of this country, having lived as many of us did through monumental happenings in our lives and she wove the public episodes into her works. She correctly saw the fracturing of our society and giving us the words that “disorder is its’ own point”. I agree, chaos breeds chaos.

What was abhorrent to some ten days ago is now simply fine. Utterances today are taken back tomorrow or reworded all together. The deck is reshuffled continually to keep the ace on top. Didion did not miss the new pay to play and the selfishness it breeds. Me, me, me and it has transcended common sense.

Didion noticed the trends online and in politics where seeds are planted by a few in the hinterland of microchips, everything that we believe is rewarded with more of it until it grows into an unrecognizable “truth”. It takes nothing for some to believe we are all going to be traced with microchips planted in our flesh while packing around a huge personal data sucking machine in our hip pockets. The fear Ms. Didion recognized, is the lousy product coming from the lack of consensus and that, in my view is the direct result of a gerrymandered electorate where just like the mule I used to have, any banana will do.

We must first understand we have been lied to then do something about the intentional division. Imagine that instead of throwing your lot with pundits or social media you talk to your neighbors; you know the same ones who were your friends before nothing changed.

A Republic functions from a learned society. Read, pay attention and think for yourselves. Our knowledge is a combination of what WE hear, what WE see and dead reckoning in our own minds. Make decisions based on many sources not some video clip doctored to fool us.

Democracy requires involvement. Sit in on board a meeting or read the minutes. Decide to BE the change. Take a role in positive changes. It takes steady decision making that comes with input from all of you. They are your representative’s locally and nationally, and democracy is only as good as what we put into it.

My time spent volunteering on local boards is far more rewarding than nearly anything I have done in life. If a board room doesn’t turn your crank, there are roadways to clean, food delivery for the infirm, volunteering to the Forest Service, BLM or local festivals. Work with the local trail maintenance folks, get out there. You will quickly find that no one asks how you voted, they don’t care.

There are two truths about democracy; it dies in darkness, and it is not a spectator sport. In the history of this country voting has historically not been a priority. Even in 2020 only 66.8% of Americans voted. There have been a few times, particularly in the 1800’s that there was 80% turnout. They had to ride a horse and we can’t get off our couch to participate?

As Didion wove in her works, we are in disarray, but every single one of us has the power to bring things back in line. We can redouble that power by exerting it together. Letting elected folks know that it is not okay to run their investment portfolio with knowledge they have gained from closed door sessions. It is not okay to take anyone’s right to vote away. It is in the interest of America financially that everyone has a fair shake. All of us can benefit from writing these guys spelling out our grievances; they do listen if enough folks get on them.

The words “We the people” can be mouthed continuously, but that will not affect real change without the “We”. Democracy is work, but unless we are willing to clean up the institutions that we were given by the framers we have done nothing. Continuing down the path of self-righteousness will accomplish even less.

This New Year can be the best we have had or the worst, it is truly up to you, you and you. We cannot settle anything without doing it together or we will remain disordered, and we will all lose. Please make a resolution to reach out, understand and work together to a common goal. Lastly, be a leader. Stand up for the country. Invest your time in America. Stand for truth and justice. Love your neighbor. Divided we fall.

“If you want something you have never had,
you must be willing to do something you have never done.”

-Thomas Jefferson-

The Extra Mile

“Go the extra mile, it is never crowded.” -unknown-

I saw this quote this morning that culminated much of my thinking this past four years or so when it comes to who we are as a nation and where we may be headed. We are not only lost politically, but emotionally, morally and ethically. As a whole, we are choosing to step on imaginary enemies who, for the most part we haven’t ever met. We are morally bankrupt, just as our country is monetarily. Many tote their Bible as proof of who they are, but some don’t follow the teachings written within. It is a puzzle to me for it is a great book of thoughtful scribe.

A month or so ago I took my friend on a short one-day road trip and stopped to gas up partway through the trip. I pumped my gas, tightened the tank plug and closed the lid. I stopped at the hatch back of my car to take my coat off and I heard this quiet voice behind me say, “Excuse me, but could you help me?”

The older man was obviously embarrassed, holding a credit card in his hand, and of course, I said sure I would help him and we walked back to his car. He had the tank open, but from there he was at a loss. “My wife passed away two months ago and she did all this kind of thing. In fact this is her car.” The “car” was a Camaro and nearly new, I got a chuckle out of that as I thought to myself, I hoped he could drive it.

I showed him how to insert the card and of course, it asked for his zip code. “What is your zip code”, I asked? He squinted and then shook his head, he didn’t know, she paid the bills. At that point I almost asked him if he was a runaway, but didn’t. I pulled out my phone and asked him his home address; he knew that. I typed it into my phone and there was the zip code. We had the pump started and he knew how to pump the gas. Mission accomplished.

What was more important than him filling his car, was the gratification of helping him. He was so appreciative, thankful and I think he felt more confident in his new role in life; a single older guy. I felt blessed to have had him in my day and reminding me in no small way, people matter. Love matters. Gratitude matters. Life matters.

Janis Joplin, who wrote “Me and Bobby McGee” has a line in there, “freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose”, it will make you think of your life, our lives, what matters and is important. I happen to believe we have a lot to lose and in the last four plus years we have lost plenty. Our dignity, trust and kindheartedness is lost in a sea of disrespect for frankly no reason at all. Parishioners are not repenting for more than five minutes at a time, then loading their guns for an enemy they know not. We are teaching our kids to pull guns as a symbol of freedom?  We want to harm people who disagree with us rather than learn how to communicate. I must have missed the memo that hate is preferable.

Kris Kristopherson, someone I have briefly met and love him for his gift to song writing, wrote a line in one of his songs, “if Christ came back tomorrow, we would string him up again.” I believe he was right. We are easily blinded by the “light of the world” as Christ described himself in John 8:12 . We seem to stare into it rather than reflecting it and lighting our path forward. We are traveling blind down a road of darkness. It doesn’t matter who wins or loses in the game of politics for we are but specks in a universe of ongoing creation, but without the light we are in perpetual darkness. Right where evil wants us.

I find myself bewildered at the quickness we cast our neighbors, friends and families as “the other”. I have educated opinions on politics, but discarding my friends, family or neighbors is out of the question for me. I figure I can learn from them and them from me, but not unless we listen.

Who helps the man at the gas station if we need voting credentials first? The answer is, frankly no one. The man is left to fend for himself. Do we really want to turn him away? He was looking for the light and he spotted me for it was lighting his way, not blinding him. If we turn left we are blind, if we turn right we cast a dark shadow, but if look to the center we will find the light and the path that leads us to each other. Stay focused on the middle it will take you that extra mile.


Ruth Bader Ginsburg saw into the future as if through a magical looking glass. Her summaries and court opinions always took the high road, while at the same time giving us an okay to take our Constitution as a living document that breathes with changes in our country. To be sure, she understood it was an outline with which to provide stability and ethical guidance, but it could accommodate the changes in the world and our thinking as the experiment of democracy evolved.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, of the Senate Judiciary Committee, left, talks to Supreme Court nominee judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, right and her son. James during a break in her confirmation hearing before the committee at Capitol Hill on Thursday, July 22, 1991 in Washington. Earlier, the Senate’s only black member, Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun, D-III., strongly objected when Hatch, in questioning Ginsburg, compared the Supreme Court’s landmark abortion ruling with an1857 pro-slavery decision. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi)

Ruth intended for us to think as she put thoughtful energy into her opinions positive or negative and at least one of those dissenting opinions may come into play in our Presidential election this fall; the Bush-Gore decision. Ginsburg dissented as a result of a 5-4 decsision to discontinue a recount that set into motion a decision by the Supreme Court to decide our election along partisan lines. Even dissenting opinions are typically held regarding future cases.
Along with the fact that Ginsburg’s past dissenting opinions have merit, so to does her death. From where I sit, I see a no-win situation for many GOP Senators who will ultimately be asked to hastily confirm a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg as most are of the opinion that President Trump will be trounced and it may be their last hurrah. The dilemma for the ones on the bubble is whether or not to agree to a confirmation vote and get flogged by the electorate for it, or stand firm on things they have said in the past about the inappropriateness of an election year confirmation and get beaten by Trump in a public tantrum. Either way, they are likely to lose their seats because many people are tired of those games of one upance and certainly do not, by and large favor them going back on their words.
Ginsburg said a few years back, that the most regrettable Supreme Court decision was the Citizens United vs The Federal Election Commission which, without much argument has seen bi-partisan pushback across the board. The decision itself professed that corporations were comprised of people therefore they should be allowed equal say monetarily in elections. Periodically the decision has broadened, leading to unlimited money from undisclosed persons and businesses including foreign actors because they can hide their involvement by way of handing money to Political Action Committees (PAC’S) through American members. This is a maneuver where Russia is suspected of donations funneled through the NRA. There are varying tax implications with all the aspects now available to the super rich who are slowly working their way to controlling our election outcomes without any of us having any real say.
Locally, we are going through a little PAC creation where a “group” of “second homeowners” are seeking to influence local politics through a PAC because they choose to stay registered in their home states, therefore they can’t vote here. According to someone who did feel like they could use some representation, donated to the newly formed PAC in good faith, alongside “100’s” of others. Long story short, it was never registered with the Secretary of State and the man running it couldn’t open a bank account with the donated money until he had the registration complete. Regarding that he declared the bank wouldn’t let him. Of course not, he didn’t have the paper work that tells the bank the organization is legit.
From where I sit, it appears to be, at least in part the very reason Ginsburg was so disappointed in the Citizen’s United Ruling of the Court. It is a vehicle for power and control, and at the very least a great way to scam innocent people trying to use it properly. ‘We the People’ can never hope to have voting say if indeed a PAC like I just discussed is receiving donations of hundreds of thousands of dollars and that is nothing like the trillions that pass through the collective bunch of PAC’s out there. I am heartened that the person who wrote to distance themselves from the PAC locally let people know it didn’t look like it was on the up and up. I wish I could visit with that person to explain we lose more than we gain by not talking and working together to solve problems in the first place.
This country has gone astray and is in flux largely due to the Citizens United ruling of 2010 in my view. We have lost our way politically, morally and honorably by turning campaign finance into a tool for the already powerful. Many of us try to hold onto the moral and ethical high ground that Ginsburg optimized when she defended women’s rights, support for all religions, personal rights and was a champion for our environment and even by her written dissents she will continue to rule for the people, all people long into the future. We should be so lucky.


On this day 49 years ago a man working for my folks was standing by the radio in our rural general store listening intently through the static with furrowed brows. For whatever reason he drew my 14 year-old attention, maybe he waved me over, but for whatever reason I was drawn. I walked over there to hear what he was listening to. Within a few seconds, I was tilted back on my heels as I heard the panicked words about a football bus wreck on Monarch. I bet I turned white for he gave me a hug. He understood the magnitude of the scene better than most; he was a retired mortician.

I wandered away, my thoughts turning inside my head and suddenly I thought of my good friend Wes Marshall; he was on that bus. At that time, I had no idea who played Jr. Varsity football, but because I worked at a stable with Wes I knew of the trip that day and that he was there. I was distraught.

It wasn’t until a few minutes later I began to think of all my classmates that might be on that bus. Of the young boys on their way to a football game that day, I had schooled with a few my entire life, from church choir to Sunday school and kindergarten. The news kept coming; bus opened like a can, bodies in various condition strewn over the mountain side, lost brakes and something about a sign post. Parents following the bus watched it all. God, it became a blur.

We didn’t have “grief counselors” then, we had only ourselves to fold over the raw emotions, to wrap ourselves in thoughts, seeking some kind of comfort. The time was honest to God emotional bloodletting and slowly it all ran together in groups where disbelief was shared, and shock turned into resolve for the injured mattered. People mattered, a lesson far too many now have never learned.

The experience made us one at Gunnison High School. Some of us good friends for life, but most a tight knit community in knowing unison. We all shared the pain, the loss and the cheers for the recovering.

We were, and still, remain one in remembrance of lives lost too early. Sons, brothers, husbands and friends. One out of many.

Bless you my friends…

Standing Upright

I have been going through some things left at my parents’ home and among them were two letters to my folks from my buddy Steve. Post marked with the military stamp, June, 1969, Vietnam. Apparently my Mother had sent him a calendar in a prior correspondence because he stated to her bleakly he had no use for a calendar. He was in the jungle, terrified. He remarked he had no idea what they were doing there and what was going on, otherwise it was polite chit chat. He was halfway through his stint then.

Steve was a young mentor of sorts for my younger brother and I when he worked for my parents. He taught my brother how to drive the ’51 Ford when they went on trash runs around my family’s resort. His smile never left his face. I never saw him mad, sad or remorseful, although I am sure he was all those things when he died in heavy combat a few months later.

His death was something I have yet to come to terms with and it brings me to tears often. The one thing positive it did for me was bring into focus how things are not always what they seem to be. I learned how to recognize the lies and have always stood up for what is right. I never marched, protested or wrote my congressmen back in 1969, I was only 13, but Steve’s death is seared into my brain like it was yesterday and has eaten at me for years. I came to understand the outrage over Vietnam, especially since 70% of the reason for flooding the rice paddies there with US soldiers blood was over shear ego on the part of President Johnson. He wanted to win.

Today, we find ourselves in a historically comparable situation, the difference being how we handle the lies. For well over ten years now there has been a campaign to use email forwards and social media to create strong differences of opinion among Americans. In division lies victory for the ones who can’t otherwise win. Rather than the public truth stretching of yesteryear we have blatant lies that find their way onto our screens. Those of us who lived through a part of Vietnam are for the most part cautious, but the steady drone of unfiltered twists of truth are bending even more focused minds. We are being pitted against each other and with intention; listen to the words next time you tune in.

I asked two friends of mine, one 84 years young and another 94, one a Democrat and the other a Republican WWII vet and former engineer at Los Alamos, what they made of this situation we are in. The Democrat said she is concerned certainly, but 1968 was far scarier she felt. My older Republican friend looked me in the eye and said, “We have had some pretty sorry Presidents, but this one is the worst and dangerous.” Indeed.

In 1968 I was too young to grasp all of it, but my eyes are wide open on this go around because of the attacks on all branches of our government and the Constitution on separation of powers to name just one. Our government was set up to be a “living” institution and therein lies the vulnerability of its’ existence. Many situations we find ourselves in are not legally covered or bound to the Constitution, it was considered that all branches install reasonable human beings and have a degree of integrity. Ethics, appointments, communications and blatant lying are not bound tightly to the Constitution. What is however is the oath to defend the Constitution and in the case of legislators they swear to defend the US against all enemies. Really, the oath of a President binds them to not much, they are on the honor system because no one ever imagined that the office would be bastardized.

Coming from a well-rounded upbringing of hardworking, honest people I would betray not only Steve, but my family and my country if I didn’t stand up for what is right. My Republican side is worried about the seeming illegality surrounding this President and the cover provided for him by members of that party.. Is he buying them or are they that afraid of him? Most former congressmen think they are fearful. Too, the nation’s we call friends are being discarded like so many used napkins; where will they be down the road when we need them? I am concerned that the wanton disregard for the people of this country and our relations in the world will get us all killed. I fear no checks on our behavior is going to denigrate our nation that has stood for what is right around the world for a century and a half. We are after all American’s and no one is going to ask what we think about our situation, they will lump us all together.

There are Steve’s out there right now around the world. They are not laying in six inches of water with rats crawling on them…yet, but they are the ones first to deal with the fallout of failed diplomacy or lack of any diplomacy try and they may well be the first to die. The Presidents guilt or innocence when it comes to Russia is yet to be determined, but there is no doubt he is shaking the trees for money as he buys, sells and trades at will around the world caring not at all about how it looks, the ethics of it nor the consequences of his actions. All he wants is to win for himself. Putin is not playing games…he wants to be the defacto ruler of the world and he will kill to get what he wants. In fact, he has already killed someone who contributed to the Dossier presented out of concern by Michael Steele to our country. He has tricked our President into doing his bidding, while we all watch the show.

Americans had better understand one thing; we are a party to a dangerous game around the world where dictators are suddenly friends with our President, and our allies are not. The United States have always been leaders around the globe and our allies have come to our side many, many times. We have to turn off the tube and read, and we need to stop allowing the ones so inclined to divide us. This is not a game to be played on Twitter or Facebook, this is our country. The people standing up are not all “liberals”, nor are they wrong to do so. What has kept this country going since 1968 is a basic decency in all of us, not guns and curse words, and we have never moved forward with division.

The First Stone

“Let him who is without sin among you, be the first to cast the first stone at her.” John 8:7. These are words to live by for almost any human being and were ascribed in the Bible telling of an angry Mob ready to stone a woman for adultery. The verse is a caution to those men who had worked themselves into a frenzy to stamp out their own misdeeds by calling attention to another. Something that is incredibly relative at this time of intense greed around the world.

The creation of commotion to deflect blame and winning at all costs is gut wrenching to most of us and many are throwing their arms up in despair when it comes to whom they should be believing. I dare say that insecurity is by design and something we all need to recognize before it becomes our downfall.

Women accusing Roy More, Donald Trump, Matt Lauer and others by and large have made up little of their stories; sexual impropriety happens on a regular basis around the world. Some of it we overlook as playful interaction, but a fair amount of it is more serious. Does that mean women run right over to their family or friends to tell them it happened? Most often no, it is bottled up inside for often times years and in many cases forever.

I was taught there was shame in sex and took that to heart, so why pray tell would I tell my friends, my Mother or anyone else that I had been abused? I was personally violated by a 65-year-old man when I was 12 and had no idea what to do about it. Men were always right, and I felt shamed. When he did it a second time I told my sister-in-law trusting she would not look down on me. She didn’t, but frankly offered no out for me other than to stay away from the guy. The one thing she did sternly advise was not to tell my Dad or he would kill the guy. Great, I was trapped, either I keep it to myself or I would be responsible for a dead man.

Maybe it was my outgoing personality, my need to fit in or my curiosity, but when another man that same year invited me to look at his apartment I followed him and was raped. I told no one. Were that man running for office now and especially the Presidency I damn sure would speak up, but not without reservation because a woman coming forward about greedy, self-serving men will be raked over the coals as we are seeing now.

The men of power who have something to lose are cat calling everyone of the women who point a finger at them, and the more guilty they are the more they run down their accusers. Almost without exception the one tossing these charges aside as made up or hired to discredit them are guilty as hell you can bet. I have heard one soft spoken man suggesting that Roy Moore had served time in the military and gone onto college so when he arrived home at 30 something all the girls his age were taken. Right. He was in no contact with women in the service or in college? Uh huh…

We are making excuses for people like Roy Moore and Donald Trump and their errant sexuality, but even looking at their records there is little room for acceptance. I heard the Alabama Secretary of State say in an interview yesterday that the people of Alabama want “someone in the Senate that will protect the Constitution”. Well then, I have to ask, why are they supporting Moore who was twice thrown off the bench for NOT upholding the Constitution? Trump is no different, pretending to be someone he is not when he offers folks that he will help them out and then turn around and be willing to sign legislation such as the tax-cut bill for few in the middle class and all of the super-rich and corporations who are still taking their money out of our country.

Both these men and others like them were self-serving sexually and are self-serving in government. It is important I think to ask yourself why it is they are going straight to blame. Why is it they will not say, as Franken did that they feel bad that any actions of theirs were taken to be more than what they intended? If it were any of us wouldn’t we be falling all over ourselves to correct those misunderstandings?

There was nothing consensual with those young girls and I see nothing in their records that make them a bit sympathetic to others. We are looking at an abuse of power here and I say in both cases we need to be looking at that stone pile.

It is Not the Guns, Not the Flag and Not Even the 2nd Amendment

Time.com- PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 16: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) makes remarks after receiving the the 2017 Liberty Medal (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)









It does not seem to matter much which way the wind blows, many Americans of all stripes seem to get caught up in the breeze. Since 2006 when Obama announced his candidacy for President and the Internet went wild with literally millions of erroneous posts and email forwards, and the conspiracy theorists threw just about everything against the wall to see if it would stick…some of it has indeed stuck. We have had lines like: “Obama is going to get your guns”, “Obama was born in Kenya” and Bush not only knew about the twin towers coming down, he helped! “Granny is going to be killed when she gets too expensive under Obamacare”. Good grief.

Much of this was perpetuated in the name of winning politically and the rest for reasons known only to the ones who wrote them. Some of course more recently , as we are finding out now were thrown out there by Russian paid computer geeks. Who would ever have guessed that John McCain would be booed at a Trump campaign rally recently…yes, Trump is still filling his coffers at those rallies, and was compelled to throw McCain under the bus along with the NFL owners who donated millions to his campaign. McCain, a POW for five years and was a son to an admiral, when offered to be released early refused so that some of his fellow soldiers could go instead. The folks booing him are the very ones who profess God and Country in that order, but at the egging on of Trump the Nazi like response was anything but Christian or Patriotic.

John McCain was awarded the Liberty Medal recently because of his undying patriotism, heroics and thoughtful legislation that came to pass more often than not, with bi-partisan support. Most of America wants our legislators to get to work for us, the ones who elected them, and we want them to abandon the partisan politics, but the money machine will not allow for that. Lobbyists of corporations and special interest dole out billions to literally buy political loyalty to enhance their profits. The big play investors in these companies often have come in and out of government to further benefit their holdings by controlling decisions in primarily individual agencies rather than on the floors of Congress. This article really demonstrates just how things work https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/business/timken-bows-to-investors-and-splits-in-two.html and much of this was going on prior to the Supreme Court ruling where “corporations are people” came out of the Citizens United case. You kind of need to read in between the lines to fully grasp the implications of all of that article has to offer, but it does more to explain to us bumpkins just how things work. The opioid crisis is point blank evidence that no matter who we elect, by at least varying degrees, the big money controls our fate. Do we really think that electing a whole different set of people while leaving the money loophole in our politics is going to give us different results? Especially when they are practiced at finding money as people like Steve Bannon is.

Getting back to McCain…he is the epitome of a patriot and the only one of the GOP who pushed back on all of the lies about Obama when they were trying to set him up for failure and lamenting not having a President who would take orders. https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2012/2/13/1064417/-Grover-Norquist-on-the-GOP-candidates-All-we-need-is-someone-who-can-handle-a-pen .  I don’t always agree with McCain, nor do I anyone else in politics including Obama because their moves are controlled by so many forces you cannot possibly imagine, and sometimes they are flat out wrong. But, having said that, McCain has tried to do what is right I am guessing for most of his tenure as a Senator as did Obama, Bush, Carter and others. In fact, I believe most people running for office have good in mind, but leaving runaway money schemes in place is like giving a starving horse a barrel of grain. You only have to look at the elected “tea party” candidates who were going to stop it all, to understand as long as that barrel is there, they are going to founder on its’ contents.

The controlling force in this country at this time is the rhetoric being thrown out there by corporations and their lobby arms, special interest and a President who might have been great had he stuck with learning government instead of leveraging it as a stepping stone for his interests. None of the rhetoric is by accident. Everyone saw how well it worked to sway people when it came to Obama, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. They painted it up some for a Trump Presidency and grinned from ear to ear at how they thought it would work just as the Democrats believed Clinton would win hands down; it wasn’t meant to be in either case. The Republicans who trusted in a majority with a “Republican” President were thrown under the bus and the same practice is part of Trumps’ history in business. Our legislative members were never meant to work independent of each other and you can certainly see why.

Due to the rhetoric thrown out there both then and now, Americans believe that the “others” are after their guns and the 2nd amendment and not standing for the Anthem is somehow an attack on patriotism even as they do not stand themselves when they are watching the games on TV. I grew up with both guns and honoring the Anthem. There was a time in the ‘60’s however, that many took to flag burning because they felt left out of the process. Out of the process, sort of like now matter of fact. Unlike then, there is no flag burning in the NFL, and the people who first brought the protest as a result of police profiling and brutality came quickly to the determination that sitting on the benches was a little too disrespectful, so they are now giving the same reverence to abstaining as they would to an injured, fellow player; hardly flag burning. I neither condone nor pardon it, but do understand the reasons. Seizing on the moment, the efforts of the President to fuel a primarily black on white debate might better serve his country working toward fixing the disparities such as race, health care, wages and economic split. He could have been great for these causes.

This rhetoric is in part a learned thing for our President, and some of it comes naturally. In this case he saw the opportunity early on for a win for him by creating a them vs. us and always appearing to be the victim to create sympathy. When it became obvious that the Russians fingerprints were on our election process he went straight to defending the Russians and calling on the media for improper reporting later turned “fake news” after the discovery of very real fake news put out by Russian trolls. People got sucked into that so deep there are factions in the south that actually believe that Putin is great. Trump has never fully acknowledged the fact that we were robbed of one of the very tenets that sets us apart from much of this world; free elections and he has done much to cause mistrust of a free press. In fact, one of the countries without much of a free press is Russia. Sure, they call themselves a democracy, but every election is rigged and free press journalists are killed for their reporting.

So, to some basic questions…why is anyone defending Russia let alone our President who swore, on not one, but two Bibles to defend the Constitution? Why are we calling out one side or the other when tiny kids are gunned down and people rightfully get upset? Do we really think that was a right? Sure, it was the person, not the gun, so why are we not immediately demanding mental health money instead of coaxing Americans into scorching their neighbors? Do we really want to be left to the trolls on social media to give us all our news? Do we really want to pull our safe guards like that? Ben Franklin among others demanded a free press clause appear in the founding documents of this country for very good reason. Russia and North Korea are examples of not having a free press.

Back in the day when Trump was building hotels he stiffed contractors of their earnings. Those were people like your neighbors who had no recourse because he could out spend them in court. He demanded the licensed veteran vendors near his hotels be forced to stop selling their wares. Worse yet while he evokes boos toward John McCain from his misled audiences they seem not to know he dodged the draft, not once, but 5 times he got a referral for a sore foot.

While John McCain laid there for five years as a POW and other soldiers endured rats crawling on them in the soaking wet jungle for days on end, our President began his career with a million dollars his daddy gave him to get him off in business on that same foot. The gold star family he talked down for days during the campaign were, like McCain humiliated by this President and people chocked it up as simply another “tell it like it is” moment without “political correctness”. Lack of both common decency and any sense of patriotism was at play there, not a moment without political correctness.

The rhetoric marches on and frankly can almost be counted on with every new witness called in the Russia investigation or when someone faults the President in any way. I find it interesting that folks thought they were getting strength in him, when in reality he has done more than his share of whining.
The victims will continue to be blamed such as Puerto Rico citizens, the greatest show on earth will be visible at every opportunity and real patriots will continue to be the ones who will pick up the carnage when we are done. My Dad always said: “Watch what they do, not what they say”.

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